New Era for Syria Comment - Ehsani and Camille Otrakji take the Helm - Syria Comment

New Era for Syria Comment – Ehsani and Camille Otrakji take the Helm

A New Era for Syria Comment – Ehsani and Alex take the helm

I must relinquish day to day oversight of Syria Comment to finish a book. Fortunately, both Ehsani and Camille Otrakji have promised to take the lead in keeping Syria Comment relevant, interesting and important. I have posted almost everyday since April 2004. I will continue to contribute but less frequently. I will find it very difficult to step back from Syria Comment, which has been such a big part of my daily routine for almost a decade. I will miss the constant community and smart commentators of SC.

Ehsani, a Syrian-American banker, has been writing economic analysis for Syria Comment since 2006. He will compile the “News Roundups”. He can be reached at ehsani22@mail.com

Ehsani writes:

“When two people always agree, one is redundant.” Syria Comment’s strength will be judged by its ability to bring together the many different points of view that Syrians have about their future.

Camille Otrakji, a Syrian-Canadian analyst, has been writing for Syria Comment as Alex since 2005. He has also assisted me with most technical challenges of blogging, designing, and maintaining the site. He also maintains “Creative Syria“, Syrian Thinktank, and Mideastimage.com.He can be reached at:  info@creativesyria.com

Camille writes:

No other blog covering Syria comes close to Syria Comment in its sincerity in welcoming different viewpoints and opinions.  Since it first began in 2004, Syria Comment has brought together regular commentators from America, Israel, Lebanon, Europe, Turkey, Iran, Palestine and, of course, Syria. Our challenge is to promote the opinions and analysis of Syria Comment’s community of participants.

Moderation: Both Ehsani and Camille will moderate the comments on their own posts. Both insist that they will use the lightest possible moderation protocol.

Comments (66)


Abughassan said:

Thanks,Joshua ,for keeping this blog alive.
I would like to delete my profile ,my e-mail any any info on the blog.
I may return if I see that I can add anything positive to this blog.
Good luck on your book,I will buy it in bulk…

September 19th, 2011, 11:42 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Geeeeees… Whish the title of this post “New Era for Syria”. sadly, we still have the same-o in Syria and Syriacomment.

September 19th, 2011, 11:52 pm

 

TRUE said:

Well done boys!!

September 19th, 2011, 11:53 pm

 

TRUE said:

Wazup Abughassan?

Why the negative feelings?

I always find your contributions valid and helpful, I might understand that you need a break which is fair enough but don’t play the white and black decisions eh

Stick around buddy

September 19th, 2011, 11:57 pm

 

Abughassan said:

I need a break and I should focus on my upcoming trip to Syria. I might pop up from time to time. I hope you guys moderate your posts . I am particularly disgusted by the loss of lives and the calls for more blood shed by many Syrians,some of whom are expats and some are educated.
ما قصم ظهري الا عالم متهتك

September 20th, 2011, 12:06 am

 

TRUE said:

@ Abughassan

fair enough!

Enjoy your trip mate and say Salam (Peace) to Syria!!

September 20th, 2011, 12:13 am

 

agatha said:

THANKS JOSHUA, CAMILLE & EHSANI FOR KEEPING THIS BLOG ALIVE!
!

September 20th, 2011, 12:39 am

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

This is a sample of what some of the released demonstrators endured while in one of the worst prisons in Syria. These are the reforms that Bashar promised. These stories are corroborated by many other accounts of torture that other people recounted.

وبعد مرور أربعة أشهر على إعتقالهم (أصدقائي ) يتم الافراج عنهم …
سألت الشباب المعتقلين…بسجن عدرا..(تغيرتم علينا….يعني ناقص وزنكم كثير)….أجابني أحدهم: ( …والله أول فترة كنا ندعي ربنا إنا نوكل شوي….كنا راح نموت من الجوع…حتى الله حن علينا وصار في القليل من القليل يللي صرنا نقدر نوكلو)
سألت شباب صيدنايا:(شو كان أكلكم؟؟)
(كان أكلنا تقريبا ربع رغيف على الفطور مع ثلاث زيتونات….وعلى الغداء نصف رغيف وملعقتين رز….هذا كان أكل اليوم….وطبعا لاننسى الضرب على الفطور والغدا لمدة معينة حسب السجان!!)
(طيب مع هذا الضغط كله….هل حدث وأن شاهدتم حالات بهذ الحالة متوقعة…قصدي حد انجن…حد صار يهذي….إلخ؟؟؟)
رد قائلا:( حالات كثيرة وكثيرة….بل والحالات الموجودة هي محاولة الانتحار….محاولة ضرب الرأس بالجدار حتى الموت….أو لف نبربيش (خرطوم مياه) الحمام حول الرقبة عله يشنق نفسه….لكن حتى هذا كان محرما…لكن هذه المرة ليس دينا وإنما لؤما…كان السجان يقول…سأجعلكم تشمون وترون الموت وتلحقونه…ولكن هيهات أن تحصلوا عليه. ..وها أنا بينكم!!)
(خلال هذه الفترة…كيف استطعتم ان تحافظوا على سلامة إيمانكم وماتفقدوا عقلكم؟؟)
كان هذا الجواب عظيم خشعت عنده وعلمت أنني أقف اليوم أمام أبطال شاء الله أن ألتقي بهم وأراهم بأم عيني..قال: .(بالإيمان….كنا مؤمنين…..كان دعاء الواحد منا…اللهم احفظ لي ديني ثم عقلي ثم روحي ثم جسدي….فلا دين ولا إيمان بلا عقل وبه أكرمنا ربنا بخروجنا سالمين)
وهنا أضع ملاحظتي على الموضوع…..فأحدهم حفظ سبع أجزاء من القرآن الكريم داخل السجن….والآخر حفظ عددا من السور الطويلة……وكان الأخير يعيش ويحلم باللحظة التي يخرج فيها ليخبر أمه بما أنجز…وبهذا الأمل عاش…..حفظوا برأيك ربما القليل….لكنه كثير لو أدركت أنهم حفظوه تلقينا بدون مصحف ولا تسجيل وإنما من بعضهم البعض سماعا….ولو علمت أنهم في كل أربع ساعات يضربون…فلا وقت للتفكير والحلم حتى….لكن شاء الله أن يمنحهم السكينة الكافية لهيك موضوع ولو كانوا بين يدي هؤلاء الظلام….الصلاة كانت وهم نيام على ظهورهم….حتى صلاة التراويح أقاموها ودعوا فيها ربهم أن يفرج عنهم…فكان أن أراد الله ما أرادوا وفرج عنهم كربتهم….سبحانك ربي ما أعظمك
حتى يوم خروجهم كانوا صياما على نية الفرج وصلوا ركعتين صباحا على نية الفرج…فما كان الليل قد خيم إلا وقد فرج الله عنهم….نسأل الله أن يكون قد غفر لهم
………………………………….
من صور عذابهم يتابع سرد القصة ويقول أنظرو الى جسدي الى قدماي …..
.نحن كل يوم نسمع مايعجز اللسان عن وصفه مما ذاقوه وعانوه في سجون البغي والطغاة….وكان مماقال:(الحمدلله…آخر أسبوع صرنا ننضرب بس مرتين باليوم)…عند استفساري مندهشا عن مقصده…أجاب:(في صيدنايا كنا نضرب كل أربع ساعات تقريبا بشكل دوري)
وكما يظهر أن إضفرين من قدمه كانا قد اقتلعا…سألته:(كيف تم اقتلاعهما؟ بالبينسة؟) آلمني بجوابه أكثر مما أتصور حين قال:( بل اقتلعا بضرب الكرباج!!!)
سألته:( هل مرت أيام لم تضربوا بها؟؟)…ونحن هنا نتكلم عما يقارب ثلاثة أشهر في سجن صيدنايا…أجابني:( أتذكر أن هناك يوما واحدا لم أضرب به….ويوم ثاني لاأعرف أعتبر أنني ضربت به أم لا…لكنه كان أخف قليلا من العادة!!)
(طيب هل رأيت أو أيا من زملائك وجه سجانيكم خلال هذه الفترة؟؟)
أجاب:(كان هذا المستحيل بعينه….طوال فترة وجودنا لم نستطع ولم نجرؤ على رؤية وجوههم…فمن كان يضع الطعام كان يدخل برفقته خمسة يضربوننا لنصف ساعة كاملة…ومن كان يوقظهم يدخل ومعه آخرو ينهالون ضربا لنصف ساعة….ومن يأخذ أحدنا للتحقيق يدخل ومعه سجانون يضربون الجميع لمدة نصف ساعة…وهكذا في كل حركة وفي كل أمر!!)
سألت:( طيب كنتوا تعرفوا شو بصير برا وإنو الثورة مستمرة؟؟)
أجاب:(قبل ستة أيام من خروجنا نقلونا من المنفردات إلى المهاجع….وهناك إلتقينا بأناس من حمص وجسر الشغور….تبين من خلالهم أن المظاهرات مستمرة….على عكس ماكانوا يخبروننا به منذ أربعة أشهر ونصف)
(ماسبب اعتقالهم؟؟)
أجاب:(تبعين حمص مظاهرات…بس الشب من جسر الشغور….كان هارب وعيلتو من جسر الشغور لتركيا وقت
الاجتياح….فخرج الرئيس على التلفاز وقال لهم عليكم الأمان…وعند عودته تم اعتقاله والتنكيل به….لدرجة أنه قد تم حرق ؟؟؟؟ بالكهرباء!!!)
……………………………….
هذا كان مقتطف صغير وصغير جدا مما سمعته من بعض شبابنا يصف الحالة التي كانوا يعيشون بها….يتجسد بقول أناس عن أسطورة أقبية المخابرات الجوية ورعبها…أنها جنة مقارنة بسجن صيدنايا المغلق….حسبي الله ونعم الوكيل منقول من صديق لي …..
sara alzopie

September 20th, 2011, 12:45 am

 

annie said:

This is good news and thank you Ehsani and Camille for keeping SC alive. Like many others I have become addicted to the site after a long absence.

Joshua, I wish you well in all your endeavours.

September 20th, 2011, 1:32 am

 

uzair8 said:

Off-topic.

Someone excitedly mentioned the start of the rugby world cup a few weeks ago.

Keep an eye out for 26 yr-old All-Black inside centre Sonny Bill Williams. He scored a couple of tries against Japan.

Sonny Bill Williams embraces Islam
Feb 13, 2011

He’s converted from a rugby league teen sensation into an All Black juggernaut, and along the way become a promising heavyweight boxer.

But Sonny Bill Williams has also made a spiritual conversion to Islam.

(Read more:)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10705928

September 20th, 2011, 1:51 am

 

uzair8 said:

Btw if anyone else is having problems opening up the edit box then open it up in a new window (keep Ctrl pressed and open edit box).
Solved it for me.

And yes, thank you for keeping the site open. Much appreciated.

September 20th, 2011, 1:56 am

 

OFF THE WALL said:

Thanks EHSANI and ALEX and Good luck.

September 20th, 2011, 2:26 am

 

louai said:

thank you Dr. Landis for everything , good luck with your book and good luck Ehsani and Alex ,i hope it will be a new era for SC with you two

Abughassan , good luck with your trip to Syria , i am looking forward to read your comments after you come back , i went there myself and i got much clearer picture about what’s goin on in our beloved country , enjoy your trip

September 20th, 2011, 3:14 am

 

Mina said:

Suggestion: Let’s limit the posts to 5 a day per email.

September 20th, 2011, 3:36 am

 

some guy in damascus said:

good luck abu ghassan!. btw since im in syria, do i get free medical care? 😀 i have this skin rash that’s kinda bothering me.
MINA,
why do you think we should limit our posts?
MNA,
do you still insist we have a silent majority and not a silenced majority?

September 20th, 2011, 4:14 am

 

Mina said:

Don’t be fooled: it’s a global revolution which is on the making.
http://www.horizons-et-debats.ch/index.php?id=2869

Thinking that to change the government will help prices go down and create jobs is really short-sighted. We came to where we are through intended speculation on the Chicago stock exchange of wheat and other raw necessities. That’s why what is needed is indeed a global vision. How can we believe the opposition when it doesn’t even have plans to discuss with the other protesters in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq? What is the internet used for?
After two revolutions where the Tunisians and Egyptians have been able to topple corrupt regimes, the West and its Arab Gulf allies meddled and what we have now is three civil wars: Lybia, Syria and Yemen. Not exactly what we read in the corporate media.

September 20th, 2011, 4:44 am

 

DIGGING FOR GOLD IN BOSRA said:

@ MINA

“After two revolutions where the Tunisians and Egyptians have been able to topple corrupt regimes, the West and its Arab Gulf allies meddled and what we have now is three civil wars: Lybia, Syria and Yemen. Not exactly what we read in the corporate media.”

Er, if there are civil wars in these countries then it is everything to do with the former government and nothing to do with NATO, the EU or the West. I’m fed up of reading this tosh about how the West is to blame for the situation these countries find themselves in. The truth is that when a country has a dictatorship for nearly half a century there will never be an easy, bloodless change of power. If these places had proper institutions with universal suffrage (not some bullsh*t referendum where there is no opponent – Assad anyone?) and freedom of expression then they wouldn’t be in the situation they are in today. You want to keep the spoils of the country for your brother, sister, mum, first cousin, second cousin, wife’s sister, wife’s brother, wife’s father, wife’s friend’s cousin, and wife’s friend’s cousin’s dog then fine, but don’t expect to leave power in anything but a casket.

September 20th, 2011, 5:19 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Good luck JL, Ehsani and Alex !
.

September 20th, 2011, 5:45 am

 

Mina said:

If the West is not to blame, why is Ben Ali relaxing in Saudi Arabia instead of sent to his trial in Tunis? Why was Ali Abdallah Saleh allowed to go back to Yemen? Why aren’t any corporate media writing about al Khaddam and Hariri and Nahr al Bared? Why did the corporate media play a role in exagerating the size of the demonstrations before they turned ugly? Why are Jordan and Iraq out of the picture in terms of people protests (which happened there before Syria)?

September 20th, 2011, 6:51 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Good luck Joshua, we will look forward for you to return,and thanks a lot for keeping SC open in this very critical time.
Thanks for Ehsani and Alex.

Norman
The goverment in Syria already kidnaping protestors, and their families and kids,and killing them after torture

True
Demass and Saydnaya are full of officers, it is hard to do it there,but the road for them will be open for such thing,Ya3foor,is good suggestion,Damascus is the best place for kidnaping,remember the goverment is kidnaping even the families of the opposition and their kids,the goverment should know the opposition can do the same.the goverment s already torturing the families of the outside opposition,those families who live inside Syria ,

September 20th, 2011, 7:11 am

 

MNA said:

SGID @ 15,

I think it is a combination of both. But we would be mistaken to think that the “silenced majority” would be for international intervention, international sanctions, “armed resistance” and the overthrow of the regime. Most people within the silent camp are for reforms and change from within the regime. Any other option would definitely take the country into dooms day.

September 20th, 2011, 7:30 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh, Alex and Ehsani,

Thank you for your continued efforts in keeping SC up and running and available for all points-of-view.

Professor Josh,

Good luck with your book.

September 20th, 2011, 7:33 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

MINA,

Here are the SC Rules as they stand now:

Messages containing any of the following elements will not be tolerated:

•Personal attacks against other contributors;
•Racist, sexist, obscene, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful language;
•Provocations designed to derail discussions away from substantive debate into dead-end arguments;
•Links to commercial sites or posting of commercial messages;
•Threats of death or violence;

Comments that violate these guidelines may be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderating team. Furthermore, commentators who repeatedly violate the site regulations may be warned, temporarily suspended from posting, limited to a set quantity of daily posts, or permanently banned. The moderators reserve the right to ban anyone who annoys or badgers them excessively.

Finally, we ask that commentators bear in mind that even well-intentioned humor or sarcasm can be “lost in translation” on an online discussion forum. As such, commentators should maintain a respectful tone with others and be tolerant of opinions that may differ from their own.

I agree with most of these rules. Limiting the number of posts doesn’t seem to be important. If we have some provocative posters, respond. It makes the discussion lively. IMHO, “Dead-end” arguments can’t be avoided.

September 20th, 2011, 7:42 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

BTW – “Click to edit” function does not seem to be working (I use it frequently).

September 20th, 2011, 7:45 am

 
 

Ehsani said:

Abughassan,

You have been a strong contributor here. Wish you can stay.

September 20th, 2011, 8:08 am

 
 

Syria no kandahar said:

SGIN
Your rash is allergy to demonstrations.

September 20th, 2011, 8:54 am

 

Syrialover said:

Dr Josh, we are losing an exceptionally natural, honest presence on the web. You have build up and nurtured something unique with SyriaComment which has occupied a crucial niche and served our beloved Syria uniquely in spreading information and understanding.

For the past 5 years I have appreciated your perspectives, intellectual analysis and generosity in sharing what you know and have discovered. Sometimes I have not liked the people you like, but I have grown to respect and like you very much. Including for the way you have always been refreshingly tolerant, ego-free and good natured in the face of those commmentators here who are not.

I have watched Ehsani and Alex emerge over the years, both of them high class acts who might otherwise not be publicly contributing to important debates on Syria. Likewise many other excellent, occasionally brilliant, voices you have praised, encouraged and showcased on your site.

Hey, I’m getting sentimental. Please stay connected and let’s keep hearing from you on SyriaComment whenever you’ve got the time. Especially when we see the fall of the house of Assad!

September 20th, 2011, 9:12 am

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

well

the useless, pointless israelis still have a reason to get up in the morning

and

the colonized syrian minds can pretend to be enlightened.

September 20th, 2011, 10:11 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

5 Dancing Ahmads,

For what reason does the “useful” President-for-Life of Syria get up in the morning?

(PS – This question goes to the once pro-Assad Professor before he deletes this website from his computer;)

September 20th, 2011, 11:12 am

 

Joshua said:

Syrialover, you have gotten me all misty-eyed. Thanks to you all. J

September 20th, 2011, 12:21 pm

 

Some guy in damascus said:

Snk, I know you like provoking me because we don’t see eye to eye, but insulting me won’t do you any good. We’re all here to discuss Syria and not insult SGID. If you really want to serve your besho , why don’t you bring any material worth debating and support besho’s claims. assume you proved to everyone I’m an Idiot, that doesn’t mean this revolution is idiotic.
Ps: sgin suites me fine, I always wanted to travel to nice.

September 20th, 2011, 12:30 pm

 

norman said:

Let us all show DR Landis how much we like and appreciate him,

All like for DR Landis,

September 20th, 2011, 12:50 pm

 
 

William Scott Scherk said:

I will add my words of thanks to Joshua Landis for this blog. Even those who disparage Landis mightily in the press and blogosphere read it, both for the window into Syrian minds and for the massed reportage.

If I could ask anything of the new minders, it would be to solicit interviews with some of the names that appear in Syrian news as acknowledged frontline. ‘inside’ leaders-in-waiting. For example, Burhan Ghalioun, Louay Hussein, Michel Kilo.

I would also like to see something wide-ranging with a few of the expat/exile names from the news — especially those who are critiqued as “house arabs” or otherwise are harshly criticized in proportion to their high-level appearances. Here I think of someone like Radwan Ziadeh, who is a historian of repression: a man who can speak at the White House, the UNHRC, Geneva and mass channels — who does not seek office, but who we know will return to Syria upon the fall of the House of Assad.

I also wish that the new regime here at Syria Comment make a deliberate move to open the discussion even more widely — perhaps by soliciting articles from critics and ‘plugged-in’ activists within Syria who for various reasons have written off the blog as a lair of regimists . . . an outreach to guest articles could increase the relevance of this forum.

For some of the more articulate long-term commenters here, I think a few have long since earned their chance to be lead essayist for a day.

Camille is an adept analyst. I would love to see him put his light on some of the emerging political formations (such as the incipient ‘Construction’ party fronted by Michel Kilo.

My best wishes to Joshua Landis, may he enjoy a respite from feeding the maw of this machine. And best wishes to Ehsani and Camille as they take the helm.

September 20th, 2011, 2:49 pm

 

Syrialover said:

AKBAR PALACE wrote: For what reason does the “useful” President-for-Life of Syria get up in the morning?

Answer: Because members of his own criminal gang will exterminate him if he is caught napping. That’s how those gange operate.

September 20th, 2011, 3:53 pm

 

Khalid Tlass said:

Norman, you are [removed by moderator] Why don;t you go back to Greece or France ? Syria is the land of UMAR IBN AL KHATTAB, KHALID IBN AL WALID, SAAD IBN ABI WAQQAS.

September 20th, 2011, 4:03 pm

 

NK said:

Photos of Malek Jandali’s parents enjoying the reforms of Bashar.

http://on.fb.me/pGW1ne

September 20th, 2011, 5:34 pm

 

Tara said:

NK@38

Thank you for sharing Jandali\’s wounded parents images. I wonder how any regime supporter can have a drop of morality and not condemn this regime. Only people who have no roots are capable of doing such atrocious acts to the elderly. Indeed a reign of slaves.

September 20th, 2011, 5:55 pm

 

George Ajjan said:

Josh, you will be missed indeed – thank you for many years of indispensable content.

I am disappointed that so few people left comments to acknowledge the service rendered by Josh’s blogging over the years.

Best of luck to E&C.

September 21st, 2011, 8:57 am

 

norman said:

Khalid,,
I like these Arab heroes, and you can not claim them more than i can, I like the most Omar ibn AL Khatab,
He was given the keys to Jerusalem by the Christian inhabitant and was offered to pray in the church of the Nativity, he refused and when asked he said,

I do not want to give a chance to some ignorant Muslim like Khalid Talas to say that Omar prayed here, so he will want to convert the church to a mosque, that is the diffrence between early Muslims and today ones.

September 21st, 2011, 10:10 am

 

Dale Andersen said:

THANKS JOSHUA, AND THANK YOU, CAMILLE & EHSANI

September 21st, 2011, 3:02 pm

 

Alex said:

Thank you Norman, Dale, Off the Wall, Emir in Tel Avis, Akbar Palace, Anni, Majd khaldoun, Louai and George Ajjan beik.

Joshua will continue to contribute every week I’m hoping. I will remind him 🙂

Abughassan, hope you stay .. post less if you have less time to spend here, but your centrist message is a relief from the stronger biases that the rest of us have.

William, there will be many interviews. Will start working on them.

September 21st, 2011, 3:41 pm

 

Tara said:

Josh

I will miss you a lot. You got us addicted and you will HAVE to visit on weekly basis.

Ehsani and Alex

Thank you very much for carrying on. This is extremely difficult time for all of us and we appreciate your time and effort keeping SC on.

Alex

Hi. I keep reading in different posts that you are well connected..to the regime that is.
Since I do not like rumors, I would like to ask you a direct question. Do mamnhebaks need to know anything? Any disclosure we should be aware of?

September 21st, 2011, 4:39 pm

 

Alex said:

Thanks Tara

I did not understand your questions though.

I am not THAT well connected. I have many friends who understand the regime well.

September 21st, 2011, 4:53 pm

 

TRUE said:

@ Tara

“I would like to ask you a direct question. Do mamnhebaks need to know anything? Any disclosure we should be aware of?”

Oh sis, you should be appointed the head of the interrogation committee @ the Congress 🙂

September 21st, 2011, 4:55 pm

 

Tara said:

Alex

I meant connection to one of the diversified security branches that Syria enjoys. Sorry to be blunt!

September 21st, 2011, 4:58 pm

 

Alex said:

Tara. Over the past five years I have been asked if I am Bashar el-Assad himself … I have been asked if I am illuminati …

I guess now I am being demoted to being connected to security branches.

I should have retired years ago.

September 21st, 2011, 8:00 pm

 

Tara said:

Dear Alex,

Direct question demands direct answer. Was your answer meant to be “no”. BTW, I usually ask a question with an intent to believe the answer, not to dispute it.

Can I call you Camille? I like Camille more than Alex.

September 21st, 2011, 8:14 pm

 

Alex said:

Alright, since you want a direct answer, can you define “a connection”?

September 21st, 2011, 8:30 pm

 

Tara said:

I would define it as “a material or a psychological connection where the safety of mamnhebaks get jeopardized.”. This is not about having a relative or a friend in the regime. Lots of us are connected to the regime one way or the other and that does not require a disclosure.

September 21st, 2011, 8:42 pm

 

Alex said:

Then the answer is a clear no.

September 21st, 2011, 8:46 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Alex,

Since we’re on a roll, here’s another Yes or No question:

Should Bashar Assad step down?

September 21st, 2011, 9:19 pm

 

Alex said:

Akbar, he should promise genuinely free Presidential elections in 2014.

Dinner time for me : )

Tara … I have been helping moderate Syria Comment since 2005 … I don’t think anyone felt threatened.

September 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm

 

Tara said:

Camille Alex

I believe you…Enjoy your dinner.

Besho will be gone before 2014.. I hope.

September 21st, 2011, 9:47 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

A Sense of Non-Urgency NewZ

Akbar, he should promise genuinely free Presidential elections in 2014.

Alex,

Thanks for the answer. But I, of course, have to disagree. Considering the severity of the crisis in Syria, I think Bashar Assad should wait at least until his kids finish college. There’s really too much on his plate right now. I’m thinking 2020. Sort of symbolic.

Sarcasm aside, and considering this lack of interest Athad has in the deaths, demonstrations, and yearnings from the Syrian population, it seems to me the Turks and the West have basically told Athad that he’s not going to be attacked. Unfortunately, another imploding terror-supporting Arab country seems to be in the best interest of most nations. Better they kill each other and not us. This is just the reality of it all.

September 21st, 2011, 10:07 pm

 

Darryl said:

Tara, Here is a further thing that you should admire from that great Nobel peace winner and his hard working ambassador. I think this photo captures the great shame that you Muslims in the so called Arabic world need to face.

http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=1955&articleId=2418&ChannelId=46175

September 21st, 2011, 10:58 pm

 

Yossi said:

Thank you Dr. Josh for heading this important site for so long.

Ehasani and Alex, good luck with your new responsibilities (watch out not to burn out — oouch).

September 21st, 2011, 11:01 pm

 

Alex said:

Thank you Yossi, good to see you here!

Ehsani will be mostly fine, …I will be constantly attacked by everyone : )

September 22nd, 2011, 3:34 am

 

Avi Salam said:

This is the first time I come back to Syria-Comment (SC) since the start of the so-called Arab Spring. Although I am not pro nor against Assad, I had decided to boycott SC as it became a dumpster for the sentimentally bigoted haters of Assad, and the mouths of the Islamists in sheep skin (you know who you are), instead of being a site for the cool-minded and rational intellectuals.

But today, I am back to say I am saddened for the loss of the professional scholar Dr. Landis. Dr. Landis you most definitely shall be missed, and our only compensation is in your choice of Alex and Ehsani to carry on (despite Ehsani being a General in the Syrian Military Intelligence Branch, and Alex being Assad’s cousin 😉 ).

I am still hopeful that Assad will broker a deal with Israel and entrench secularism and democracy in Syria by 2014. Friendly relations between Israel and Syria is the best guarantor of secularism in Syria, and secularism in Syria is the ultimate guarantor of peace for Israel. I have all the reasons to believe that Assad is very smart, and can replace Turkey with Israel in his regional political calculus. It is not impossible, but it will never by easy.

Khabibti Tayoura (TARA), come 2014, Assad IS going to be there, don’t eat your heart out, though.

September 22nd, 2011, 3:37 am

 

Tara said:

Avi-Salam

Let us first establish the ground rules. I am not your khabibtak and do not use a Nick name for me. Second, it is Habibti with H, not with Kh as you may want to learn something by coming to SC. Third, Assad will not last until 2014. I wanted to find him a chic apartment in Tahran initially but now after killing 2700 including 100 children, I will be visiting him at the Hauge, bringing him rotten Halawa(not khalawa) or preferably in Tadmur prison. Finally, you may want to go and get enlightened before making your grand come back at SC. A lasting just peace is made by democratically elected government that reflects people’s sentiment not by a serial killer-dictator who may forge a pseudo-peace that means nothing.

September 22nd, 2011, 7:21 am

 

Tara said:

Camille @59

Your presence is welcomed. You are not going to be attacked on SC, your support of the thug in chief will be attacked. That is all.

September 22nd, 2011, 7:24 am

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

OUCH….

TARA @ 61 & 62

Remarkable

You pick from the list

September 22nd, 2011, 7:58 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Although I am not pro nor against Assad

AVI SALAM,

Why would you be against Assad? He’s such a great leader:

– Still arming Hezbollah to the gills because he’s too afraid to fight Israel himself and he would rather put Lebanon in peril instead of his own country.

– Still treating his people as slaves, dirt and now cannon fodder because they won’t bow down to his image.

– Syrians still w/o basic human rights like freedom of speech and the ability to vote for their leaders.

– Isolated himself with the rest of the world (sans Iran)

– Has put his economy in the trashbin where the per capita GDP is about $3500.

You should live under his rule.

September 22nd, 2011, 8:07 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

I am still hopeful that Assad will broker a deal with Israel and entrench secularism and democracy in Syria by 2014.

Avi Salam,

What is so special about 2014?

Syrians have been suffering with the Assad for the past 40+ years, so what makes you think 2014 is going to save them? They needed freedom decades ago. And basic human rights has no deadline. Every human being deserves basic human rights for every day of their life.

September 22nd, 2011, 8:14 am

 

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